.Best Place to Be When Your Baby Is Prematurely Born During a Pandemic 2022

On a warm afternoon one month before her due date, my wife came through the door and told me she thought her water broke. In the panic that ensued, one thought was clear: get to the hospital. 

For us, that meant the Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, located next to the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts on Mark West Springs Road. We arrived with bags in hand and worried looks on faces, were shown to a room and quickly got confirmation that yes, the water had broken. It felt like that moment when the safety bars click and the roller coaster starts moving. We didn’t realize yet that the ride would last for 10 days.

Without getting into the details, the first 24 hours were the longest of our lives, and ended with surgery to deliver the baby. It occurs to me now that throughout this first leg of the journey, I never felt scared. The nurses and doctors who held our hands through the process always made sure we were as comfortable as possible, both physically and emotionally. 

That care continued after the birth, when my wife recovered and the baby was transferred to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). For nine days, we lived at the hospital. In addition to the 24-hour care that made sure our baby thrived, he received blue light treatment for jaundice. This begs the question, “How did they figure out that blue light exposure cures jaundice?” 

Even with restrictions on visitors and other Covid-related precautions, we never felt isolated mentally. The staff became our extended family for that time. They cheered for my wife when she took her first walk after surgery, told us all the little baby things we missed while we slept at night and shared stories that we still talk about today. 

To all the staff at Sutter and all the hospitals who’ve done so much for so many, especially during the pandemic, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. –C.S.

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